Greetings, Shredderz! Today we’ve got a bitchin’ rig from longtime Shred Sledz contributor Steve Wray. Steve has been kind enough to share some choice selections from his quiver over the years. Mostly recently I wrote up a Wave Tools twin fin with a great checkerboard graphic. Steve also has a gorgeous Mike Slingerland-shaped Surfing’s New Image sting. Check out the full writeup of the Slingerland sting here.
When Steve reaches out and tells me he has a board he’s excited about, my ears perk up. So you can imagine my curiosity when Steve recently contacted me to share a rare Donald Takayama-shaped Surfing’s New Image shaped in the Seventies.
I’m always curious about Takayama’s boards no matter when they were made, but I’m particularly interested in his Seventies shapes. While a lot of attention is paid to Donald’s boards in the Sixties and the longboards he shaped towards the end of his career, I find myself gravitating towards his single fins.
As you can see, Steve’s Surfing’s New Image single fin is stunning. Most of the shaping duties for SNI were handled by Rick Hamon and Mike Slingerland. I have heard that Aipa even shaped a few here and there, but I don’t know that I have ever seen a true Aipa-shaped SNI (versus the Hamon / Slingerland boards shaped under license). Seventies Takayamas are in short supply, and only a small portion of those are under the SNI label.
I love the wings and the pintail on this bad boy. I could stare at the photo above for a long time without ever getting bored.
The board is 6’10” and Steve purchased it off its original owner, who claims it was shaped in 1977.
One interesting thing I have noticed about Seventies Takayama boards is that Donald signed many of these with his initials. You can clearly see this in the photo above — look for the “D.T.” in front of the serial number. Boards produced later in on Donald’s career are often signed on the stringer towards the tail, with his name written in full.
Finally, here are two other unique Takayama Seventies boards. The first is a super rare Aipa / SNI sting shaped by Donald. This is still one of the coolest boards I have seen.
Second, even though Donald represents the “T” in M.T.B Surfboards, from what I can tell, most M.T.B. boards were made in Florida. I think the brand had its origins in Solana Beach before moving out East. That said, you don’t see a ton of M.T.B. boards that are clearly shaped by Donald.
Thanks again to Steve for sharing the pics of this rad board. You can give him a follow on Instagram here.